§ 880-X-8C-.06. Applications: Approval Or Disapproval Of Exploration Of More Than 250 Tons
(1) The State Regulatory Authority shall act upon a completed application within a reasonable period of time but not to exceed thirty days following the close of the public comment period. The approval of a coal exploration permit may be based only on a complete and accurate application.
(2) The State Regulatory Authority shall approve a complete application filed in accordance with this Subchapter, if it finds, in writing, that the applicant has demonstrated that the exploration and reclamation described in the application --
(a) Will be conducted in accordance with the Act, Subchapter 880-X-10B, this Subchapter and these regulations;
(b) Will not jeopardize the continued existence of an endangered or threatened species listed pursuant to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Section 1531, et seq); or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of those species; and
(c) Will not adversely affect any cultural or historical resources or districts, sites, buildings, structures, or objects listed on the National Register of Historical Places, unless the proposed exploration has been approved by both the State Regulatory Authority and the agency with jurisdiction over such matters.
(d) Requires that the tonnage to be removed and acreage to be disturbed are justified by the scope of the operation.
(e) With respect to exploration activities on any lands protected under Rule 880-X-7B-.06 of these regulations, minimize interference, to the extent technologically and economically feasible, with the values of which those lands were designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. Before making this finding, the regulatory authority must provide reasonable opportunity to the owner of the feature causing the land to come under the protection of Rule 880-X-7B-.06 of these regulations, and when applicable, to the regulatory authority with primary jurisdiction over the feature with respect to the values that caused the land to come under such protection, to comment on whether the finding is appropriate.
(3) Terms of permit. Each exploration permit issued by the Regulatory Authority shall be valid for a period determined by the Regulatory Authority and contain conditions necessary to ensure that the exploration and reclamation will be conducted in compliance with the Act, this Chapter, Subchapter 880-X-IOB and any other applicable provisions of these regulations.
(4) The applicant shall submit to the State Regulatory Authority a performance bond and certificate of liability insurance which comply with the requirements of Chapter 880-X-9 except that --
(a) In lieu of the requirement of Rules 880-X-9B-.03 and 880-X-9D-.03(4)(d) there shall be no minimum bond amount;
(b) In lieu of the requirements of Rules 880-X-9B-.04(2)(a) and 880-X-9D-.03(5)(c)(3), the period of liability shall be two (2) full growing seasons; and
(c) Only the requirements of paragraphs (1), (1)(a), (4), and (6)(a)-(d) of Rule 880-X-9D-.02 shall apply.
Author: Randall C. Johnson(May 20, 1982. Amended: September 18, 1990; effective: August 2, 1991. Amended: Filed August 23, 2001; effective September 27, 2001.)
On February 5, 2002, the Office of Surface Mining approved this rulemaking adopted by the commission on August 16, 2001. The effective date of this rule will be March 7, 2002.
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 87, as amended.
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